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Survey of New Horizons International Music Association musicians

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This study analysed survey responses from 1652 New Horizons International Music Association (NHIMA) musicians in the United States and Canada to better understand older adults' experiences in making music. The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) ascertain the extent of NHIMA musicians' musical backgrounds and their current involvement in music making; (b) determine perceived benefits of music making in NHIMA groups; and (c) establish a baseline for a longitudinal study that monitors NHIMA musicians' health compared with similar adults who are non-musicians to document relationships between health changes and music making. NHIMA musicians can be typified as approximately 70 years old, almost exclusively Caucasian, of average health, college educated, with above average incomes and with previous playing experience on their instruments in high school. They play their instruments on average for an hour a day. Their comments reveal that most of the respondents cite emotional well-being and benefits, followed by physical well-being, cognitive stimulation and socialization benefits. This large sample study thus corroborates the findings of previous efforts using smaller samples and provides baseline data for future research.
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Keywords: adult education; andragogy; gerontology; instrumental music education; lifelong learning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Iowa.

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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